From Pessimism to Optimism 4: Bringing in friends

Mar 25, 2011Find joy today

I would be a raging pessimist, more pessimistic than I already am, if I didn’t have friends. Friends help me sort through my emotions. They show me when I’m overreacting. They gently correct me when I’m lost in catastrophic thinking. They ground me. They love me.

When I utter, “Now I’ll never…” or “It will always be this way,” a good friend can reorient me.

Cathleen has been this for me recently. We often have lunch together to sort through our lives, share our hearts, and learn how to love Jesus better. I lamented recently about my discouragement with my book sales. (I wish I didn’t. Really.) She stopped me in the midst of my sadness and said something like, “Do you know how much impact Thin Places has had on one of my family members? It’s changed his life!” She then told me she gives the book away to her clients.

She continued, pouring fresh water on my parched attitude, reminding me of the importance of one book impacting one life, how that mattered more than numbers, how life change was hard to measure, but it was very, very important.

I left our lunch optimistic–not in book sales, but in God’s grand ability to orchestrate things the way He pleases. I cannot control outcomes, but I can choose to write as He gives me inspiration, leaving the people my words touch in His capable hands. That’s where I can rest.

Without friends who speak life into our lives, we’ll become consumed with our catastrophic thinking. We’ll begin to believe all the negative press that recirculates in our brains. We need people’s outside perspective. And we need their support and love.

So if you’re struggling with a hefty dose of pessimism, call a friend today. Share your heart. Ask for prayer. Ask God to send you someone who will speak life into your deadened thoughts. Then rest there.


When has a friend helped you change your attitude from pessimism to optimism?